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Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 11;7:40319. doi: 10.1038/srep40319.

Genetic Variants Identified from Epilepsy of Unknown Etiology in Chinese Children by Targeted Exome Sequencing.

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Division of Neurology, Children's Hospital of Fudan University, No. 399 Wanyuan Road, Shanghai, 201102, China.
BGI, Shenzhen, 518083, China.
Zhe Jiang Children's Hospital, No. 3333 Binsheng Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China.
Nan Jing Children's Hospital, No. 72, Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, P.R. China.
Jiangxi Children's Hospital, No.122, Yangming Road, Nanchang, P.R. China.
Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University School of Medicine, 905 S. LaSalle ST, Durham, NC USA.
University of Genomics and Genetics Program, Duke University, 905 S. LaSalle ST, Durham, NC USA.
Department of Neurobiology, Duke University School of Medicine, 905 S. LaSalle ST, Durham, NC USA.
Institute of Brain Science, Fudan University, 138,Yi Xue Yuan Rd, Shanghai, 200032, China.


Genetic factors play a major role in the etiology of epilepsy disorders. Recent genomics studies using next generation sequencing (NGS) technique have identified a large number of genetic variants including copy number (CNV) and single nucleotide variant (SNV) in a small set of genes from individuals with epilepsy. These discoveries have contributed significantly to evaluate the etiology of epilepsy in clinic and lay the foundation to develop molecular specific treatment. However, the molecular basis for a majority of epilepsy patients remains elusive, and furthermore, most of these studies have been conducted in Caucasian children. Here we conducted a targeted exome-sequencing of 63 trios of Chinese epilepsy families using a custom-designed NGS panel that covers 412 known and candidate genes for epilepsy. We identified pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants in 15 of 63 (23.8%) families in known epilepsy genes including SCN1A, CDKL5, STXBP1, CHD2, SCN3A, SCN9A, TSC2, MBD5, POLG and EFHC1. More importantly, we identified likely pathologic variants in several novel candidate genes such as GABRE, MYH1, and CLCN6. Our results provide the evidence supporting the application of custom-designed NGS panel in clinic and indicate a conserved genetic susceptibility for epilepsy between Chinese and Caucasian children.

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